We Tried NYRR Virtual Racing. Here's What We Learned.
One of New York Road Runners' initiatives for 2018 is the launch of NYRR Virtual Racing Hosted on Strava.
This new event format supplements our more than 50 weekly races, and will be rolling out with more races throughout the year. As part of NYRR Virtual Racing, the Virtual 6 program offers guaranteed, non-complimentary entry to next year's Popular® Brooklyn Half.
So what is virtual racing, and how can you get started on it? We tested it out with the NYRR Virtual Resolution Run 5K, and we've created a quick how-to guide with your "race-day essentials."
Follow these steps as you set out on your next virtual race—all you'll need are an NYRR account, a Strava account linked to your NYRR account, and a device with GPS capability.
Step 1: Open the Strava app.
Step 2: Tap the Record button at the bottom of the screen.
Steps 3 and 4: Wait for your device to acquire a GPS signal, and then tap Start to begin your run.
Step 5: Run your race! Strava recommends that you run slightly more than the required race distance, to account for any corrections with GPS data, before finishing your activity.
Step 6: Once you've covered the race distance, tap Finish to end your run.
Step 7: On the Save Activity screen, tap Type and select Race as your activity type.
Step 8: Add a title, photos, and a description from your run (optional), and then tap Save Activity at the bottom of the screen.
Step 9: Once your activity is uploaded, you're all set, and you should see your result on the race leaderboard.
Now here's a look at how it all plays out in the real world—
Also, because I was running by myself and have an innate need to entertain myself, I attempted to recreate the experience of an NYRR post-finish area at the end of my virtual race:
While NYRR will not be shipping out Heat Sheets™, bags of Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, and bottles of Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water to virtual race finishers, there's no reason why you can't make your own fun and create a post-finish area for yourself—and kudos if you can find any volunteers to play along, too.
So with one virtual race down, here are some more ideas we've come up with for how you can create your own race experience.
In 2017, I missed two races because I slept through my alarm. A virtual race can take place at any time, and on any course that you want, so if you don't want to set that 5:00 a.m. alarm (and one at 5:05, and one at 5:07, and one at...), you can set your own start time. Want to race at night? Go for it—just be sure to run somewhere safe and well lit, and remember to wear your reflective gear.
Want to bask in the scenery? It's okay to take your time—virtual races won't affect your best pace for corrals in NYRR road races.
Want to try for a PR on a massively downhill course? Be our guest—just be sure to roll out your quads afterward, because they might be sore after that.
Wherever, whenever, and however you choose to run a virtual race, we can't wait to (metaphorically) see you out there! Try virtual racing out for yourself at the NYRR Virtual For the Kids 5K Benefiting Rising New York Road Runners between February 13 and 19, and follow that up with the NYRR Virtual NYC 10K from March 14 to 18.